Bluebeard (Caryopteris X Clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ SAPPHIRE SURF)

Plant: Table of Contents

Plant Scientist’s Guide to Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ SAPPHIRE SURF)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ SAPPHIRE SURF), a stunning and versatile plant that is sure to add beauty to any garden or landscape. This guide is designed to provide you with all the information you need to successfully grow and care for this unique plant. From its cultural requirements and uses to its care and maintenance, we will cover everything you need to know about bluebeard. So grab your gardening gloves and let’s dive in!

What is Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ SAPPHIRE SURF)?

Bluebeard, scientifically known as Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ SAPPHIRE SURF, is a cultivar of the Caryopteris x clandonensis species. It is commonly referred to as bluebeard due to its striking blue flowers that bloom prolifically during the late summer and early fall. This deciduous shrub is prized for its compact growth habit, aromatic foliage, and ability to attract pollinators, making it a favorite among gardeners and landscapers.

Key Takeaways

Before we delve into the specifics of bluebeard, let’s summarize the key takeaways of this guide.

  • Plant Name: Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ SAPPHIRE SURF (Bluebeard)
  • Common Names: Sapphire Surf, Bluebeard plant, Blauer Splatz hybrid
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Flower Color: Blue
  • Growth Habit: Compact and mounding
  • Uses: Pollinator attractant, landscape plant, container plant
  • Water: Moderate water needs
  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
  • Fertilizer: Minimal fertilization requirements
  • Soil: Well-draining, loamy soil
  • Pruning: Prune in early spring
  • Propagation: Softwood cuttings
  • Popularity: Widely used in gardens and landscapes
  • Common Diseases: Few disease issues
  • Common Pests: Minimal pest problems

Now that we have an overview of bluebeard, let’s explore each aspect in detail.

Bluebeard Culture


Bluebeard is prized for its versatility and numerous uses in the garden and landscape. Here are some of its primary uses:

  • Pollinator Attraction: The abundant blue flowers of the bluebeard shrub are a magnet for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making it an excellent choice for wildlife gardens and conservation areas.
  • Landscape Plant: It serves as a beautiful ornamental plant in landscape borders, mixed perennial beds, and mass plantings, where its vibrant blue flowers add a pop of color.
  • Container Plant: Bluebeard can be grown in containers, making it an ideal choice for patio gardens, balcony settings, and urban landscapes.


Bluebeard has moderate water needs and performs best in well-draining soil that is kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Once established, it exhibits some drought tolerance, but regular watering during dry spells is beneficial. It is important to monitor the soil moisture, especially during the hot summer months, to ensure the plant’s health and vigor.


This shrub thrives in full sunlight, receiving at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day. However, it can also tolerate partial shade, particularly in hot climates, where some protection from intense afternoon sun may be beneficial. Adequate sunlight is essential for robust flowering and overall plant growth.


Bluebeard generally has minimal fertilizer requirements, especially when grown in nutrient-rich soil. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer applied in early spring can provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and flowering. It is important not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers.


The ideal soil for bluebeard is well-draining and loamy, with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. It thrives in soil that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged, as overly wet conditions can lead to root rot and other issues. Amending the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure can improve its texture and fertility, promoting optimal growth.


Pruning is an essential aspect of bluebeard care, as it helps maintain a tidy and compact growth habit, promotes flowering, and removes any dead or diseased wood. The optimal time for pruning bluebeard is in early spring, just as new growth begins to emerge. Here are some key considerations for pruning bluebeard:

  • Remove Dead Wood: Cut out any dead, damaged, or diseased wood to encourage healthy growth and prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
  • Promote Air Circulation: Thin out congested or crossing branches to improve air circulation within the shrub, reducing the risk of fungal diseases and promoting overall plant vigor.
  • Encourage Flowering: To encourage prolific flowering, prune the previous year’s growth to a few inches above the base of the plant. This stimulates the production of new flowering wood, resulting in abundant blooms during the growing season.


Bluebeard can be propagated through softwood cuttings, offering an opportunity to expand your plant collection or share this beautiful shrub with fellow gardening enthusiasts. Here’s a simple propagation method for bluebeard:

  1. Select Healthy Cuttings: During the early summer, select 4 to 6-inch long cuttings from the current season’s growth. Choose healthy, non-flowering shoots for the best results.
  2. Prepare the Cuttings: Remove the lower leaves from the cuttings, leaving only a few at the top. Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone to promote root development.
  3. Plant the Cuttings: Place the cuttings in a container filled with well-draining, moistened propagation medium, such as a mix of perlite and peat moss.
  4. Provide Optimal Conditions: Keep the cuttings in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight. Mist the cuttings regularly to maintain humidity and promote root formation.
  5. Transplanting: Once the cuttings have developed a healthy root system, carefully transplant them into individual pots with well-draining potting mix. They can then be gradually acclimated to outdoor conditions.

Container Popularity

Bluebeard’s compact growth habit and vibrant blue flowers make it a popular choice for container gardening. When grown in containers, it adds a colorful accent to patios, balconies, and outdoor living spaces. The following considerations are important when growing bluebeard in containers:

  • Container Selection: Choose a large container with adequate drainage holes to ensure proper drainage and root health.
  • Potting Mix: Use a well-draining potting mix with added organic matter to provide essential nutrients and moisture retention.
  • Watering: Containers may require more frequent watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Monitor the soil moisture and water as needed to keep the plant evenly moist.
  • Sunlight: Place the container in a location that receives sufficient sunlight for optimal growth and flowering. Ensure that the plant receives adequate air circulation to prevent mold and mildew.

Common Diseases

Bluebeard is relatively resistant to diseases, but it may occasionally encounter certain issues that can impact its health and vigor. Here are some common diseases that can affect bluebeard:

  • Powdery Mildew: In humid or poorly ventilated conditions, bluebeard may be susceptible to powdery mildew, characterized by a white, powdery growth on the leaves. To mitigate this issue, ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering.
  • Root Rot: Overly wet or poorly drained soil can lead to root rot, affecting the plant’s overall health. Planting bluebeard in well-draining soil and avoiding overwatering can help prevent this issue.
  • Leaf Spot: Leaf spot diseases, caused by various fungal pathogens, can lead to the development of dark spots on the foliage. Pruning out affected areas and promoting good air circulation can help manage this issue.

Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing plant diseases is a critical aspect of effective plant care. When observing signs of disease on bluebeard, it is essential to accurately identify the problem and take appropriate measures to address it. Common diagnostic steps include:

  • Visual Inspection: Carefully examine the plant for any abnormal symptoms, such as discolored or distorted leaves, unusual growth, or visible signs of pests or pathogens.
  • Symptom Analysis: Identify the specific symptoms exhibited by the plant, such as discoloration, spots, wilting, or stunted growth. Take note of when the symptoms first appeared and any changes in the plant’s environment.
  • Pathogen Identification: If microbial pathogens are suspected, it may be necessary to send samples to a diagnostic lab for identification. This can help determine the specific disease affecting the plant and guide appropriate treatment.

Seeking the advice of a qualified horticulturist or plant pathologist can provide valuable insights into diagnosing and managing diseases affecting bluebeard and other ornamental plants.

Common Pests

While bluebeard is generally resistant to many pests, it may encounter occasional pest issues that can impact its appearance and vigor. Some common pests that may affect bluebeard include:

  • Aphids: These small, soft-bodied insects may cluster on the new growth of bluebeard, sucking sap from the plant and causing distorted growth. Regular inspection and targeted treatments can help manage aphid populations.
  • Spider Mites: Spider mites are tiny arachnids that can infest bluebeard, causing stippled or discolored leaves and webbing on the foliage. Spraying the plant with a strong jet of water can help dislodge spider mites, and insecticidal soap or horticultural oil can offer additional control.

Vigilant monitoring of bluebeard for signs of pest activity, coupled with timely intervention, can help minimize the impact of pests and maintain the plant’s vitality.

Botanist’s Tips

To ensure the successful cultivation of bluebeard and maximize its ornamental value, here are some expert tips from botanists and experienced gardeners:

  • Selecting the Right Location: Choose a well-draining site with ample sunlight for optimum growth and flowering. Avoid planting bluebeard in low-lying or waterlogged areas to prevent root issues.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to conserve soil moisture, suppress weeds, and moderate soil temperatures. This can also contribute to the overall health of the plant.
  • Deadheading: After the initial flowering period, deadhead the spent blooms to encourage additional flowering and maintain a neat appearance. This can prolong the flowering season and enhance the plant’s visual appeal.
  • Winter Protection: In regions with harsh winters, provide a layer of mulch or protective covering over the root zone of bluebeard to insulate it from freezing temperatures and prevent frost damage.
  • Supporting Pollinators: Incorporate a diversity of flowering plants in the garden to support pollinators and beneficial insects, enhancing the ecological value of the landscape and promoting biodiversity.

Fun Facts

  • The specific epithet “clandonensis” in the scientific name of bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis) is derived from the Clandon Park in Surrey, England, where the hybrid was presumably developed.
  • Bluebeard’s aromatic foliage emits a pleasant scent when bruised or brushed, adding an olfactory dimension to its ornamental appeal.
  • The intense blue flowers of bluebeard serve as a visual magnet for butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators, contributing to the vibrant charm of the garden.

Links to External Resources

For further information on bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ SAPPHIRE SURF) and related topics, we recommend exploring the following resources:

With the wealth of knowledge available from these reputable sources, you can further explore the care, cultivation, and landscape uses of bluebeard, enriching your understanding of this captivating plant.

In conclusion, bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Blauer Splatz’ SAPPHIRE SURF) stands out as a remarkable addition to gardens and landscapes, offering captivating blue flowers, aromatic foliage, and ecological benefits. By understanding its cultural requirements, uses, care practices, and ecological value, you can unleash the full potential of this versatile shrub, creating a harmonious and vibrant outdoor environment. Whether used as a pollinator attractant, landscape focal point, or container accent, bluebeard leaves a lasting impression with its enchanting beauty.

Remember, the joy of gardening lies not only in the beauty of the plants but also in the knowledge and care that goes into nurturing them. Happy gardening, and may your bluebeard thrive and bloom abundantly in your garden oasis!

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.